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Why do I need to pray in order for God to help me? : Questions to God: Part 2


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Initial post: Sep 13, 2012 7:43:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 1, 2012 12:09:06 PM PDT
(The first question in this series was "Why is Satan still alive?". Although it wasn't labeled that way.)

God created me. God knows what I am thinking before I even think it. God knows what is going to happen to me, and the rest of the universe before it happens. God controls all events in the universe.

Why then, do I need to pray to God and ask for help when I need it? What is the purpose of asking God to help me through prayer if he already knows what I need and is already decided on whether he is going to help me or not?

Part 1:
http://www.amazon.com/forum/religion/ref=cm_cd_fp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1M9TK6UGAX6EO&cdThread=Tx2HIPUNODDYNDE

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 8:02:31 AM PDT
Aardwizz says:
The first step of any 12-step program is admitting that you need help. "Praying to God" would be thus be the first step for any REAL change to occur. If the consequential problem merely disappeared as if by magic without an effort by you, you would learn nothing.

Note that all of this is true whether or not God exists or answers prayer.

õ¿õ¬

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 8:06:39 AM PDT
So if I get cancer, and I pray to God to get rid of it for me, and the cancer disappears.....you're comparing that to a 12-step program?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 8:32:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 13, 2012 8:33:14 AM PDT
Aardwizz says:
Given the existence of spontaneous remissions as well as well-documented biochemical repair mechanisms, it would appear that your body *is* capable of getting rid of your cancer by itself. However, for some reason, it is not doing so.

Stress is also well-documented to have an effect on the immune system. "Letting go", whether through prayer or meditation or whatever, can lower stress and just might allow your body to do what it does naturally, or "invite a cosmic force" to do it for you -- depending on what you believe.

So yes, it's just like a 12-step program. A little humility can go a long way.

õ¿õ¬

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 10:48:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 13, 2012 10:49:02 AM PDT
Both of your answers really have nothing to do with the fact that the Bible commands people to pray to God in order to receive help. There is no self-help involved. You are told that you must request help from the all-powerful God in the Bible, and no where else.

The question is, why do I need do this?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 10:50:01 AM PDT
you dont
but you boost your odds that He might do it for you

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 10:56:31 AM PDT
So praying is just a bonus roll then?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 11:39:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 13, 2012 11:40:56 AM PDT
Aardwizz says:
DakillaKonKommeth: "the fact that the Bible commands people to pray to God in order to receive help."

Actually, the preamble to The Lord's Prayer says the opposite: "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

That many (most?) Christians don't follow this advice is not the problem with the Bible, but with the various religions on which base themselves on it.

õ¿õ¬

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 5:24:14 PM PDT
Karen T. says:
DakillaKonKommeth,

I don't believe God is an anthropomorphic being who sometimes chooses to help us and sometimes chooses to not. I believe God is unchanging, constant Love and Truth - and that we can avail ourselves of the power of Love and Truth when we bring our thoughts into harmony with that power - get rid of fear, hate, and anger and fill our thoughts up with love, joy, and hope. I think this is what Jesus was talking about when he said "The kingdom of heaven is within you" - I think we can have heaven right now - that we don't need to plead or beg for it, and we don't need to die to experience it, either.

I like what Mary Baker Eddy says about this in her book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures:

"God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more? God is intelligence. Can we inform the infinite Mind of anything He does not already comprehend? Do we expect to change perfection? Shall we plead for more at the open fount, which is pouring forth more than we accept?... Asking God to be God is a vain repetition. God is 'the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever;' and He who is immutably right will do right without being reminded of His province... Who would stand before a blackboard, and pray the principle of mathematics to solve the problem? The rule is already established, and it is our task to work out the solution. Shall we ask the divine Principle of all goodness to do His own work? His work is done, and we have only to avail ourselves of God's rule in order to receive His blessing, which enables us to work out our own salvation."

Karen

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 7:54:10 PM PDT
Ariex says:
DakillaKonKommeth says: "You are told that you must request help from the all-powerful God in the Bible, and no where else.
The question is, why do I need do this?"

Ariex: You don't need to do this, the priests who "represent" God need you to do this in order to maintain their own authority as God's representatives. If you didn't feel a need to pray to God, you wouldn't feel a need to respect God's mouthpieces and to give them money and goods.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 11:02:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 13, 2012 11:07:18 PM PDT
P l e a s e -

The Priests are the Church's representatives, not God's.

There is a massive difference, for what you have done is to equate Priests with angels.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 8:16:52 AM PDT
I agree that most Christians don't follow Christ's advice on praying, but that doesn't negate the example that Christ left in praying to God for everything. Plus the fact that Paul instructs people to pray in everything and all things also tells Christians to pray for help when needed.

My question is why should I have to do this with an all-knowing, all-powerful God? It just seems like such a human behavior and not something a God would command of me.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 8:24:03 AM PDT
The system of priesthood, overseers, and deacons was set up by God in the OT. Priests are just as much representatives of God as the angels. Angels are simply God's creation, just like man.

Praying loudly and at-length in church has become commonplace for thousands of years in the church. My semi-educated guess is that Ariex's statements hold far more truth than yours Clarrissa.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 8:30:37 AM PDT
Hi Karen,
Thank you for adding your insight to this thread. It is much appreciated.

My question pertains to this though. God does not always fulfill our requests through prayer. Someone may get a terminal disease and they and their families may pray right up until that person dies. If God is unchanging, then God always intended for that person to die, and never wavered from that decision. Why should I bother praying then?

If the outcome will be the same always, what is the purpose of prayer? Is it simply a "feel-good" exercise then?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 9:22:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 14, 2012 9:32:19 AM PDT
It is only correct to say that Priests are the Church's representatives.

Think what deep water you are in if you say that they are God's representatives. A priest commits an offence, say... God's representative committing an offence? Intolerable.

Get in the real world and don't confuse Church (often with scandalous people) with God.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 10:39:38 AM PDT
"A priest commits an offence, say... God's representative committing an offence? Intolerable."

Angels never committed offenses against God? I beg to differ.

That just sounds like excuse making to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 2:04:54 PM PDT
quert says:
DKK: "Why then, do I need to pray to God and ask for help when I need it? What is the purpose of asking God to help me through prayer if he already knows what I need and is already decided on whether he is going to help me or not?"

Prayer, to me, is a form of self-assurance. Maybe most people think the divine controller also needs to be assured that people are aware they need help - thus would be more likely to follow through on his/her/its intentions. My opinion is that the practice of prayer is a self-consoling devise and often psychologically beneficial.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 2:05:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 14, 2012 2:06:28 PM PDT
In the world we inhabit, the actions of priests are of greater importance than the angels in heaven, whose existence is doubted by many.

Priests are employed by their paymasters, the Church.

Posted on Sep 14, 2012 9:06:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 14, 2012 9:06:57 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
No matter how much you pray to "God", it's your own actions that will either cure you or not. Yours and, if your problems call for it, the doctors or hospitals that undertake your treatment. If it's not some health problem, but a relationship issue, again, your decisions, your actions, will bring about the solution, not "God".

I do agree with Quert however, that for some, prayer is comforting and takes some of the stress of whatever problem away, so that the solutions can be more easily recognized.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 10:07:09 PM PDT
Karen T. says:
Ah. Yes, I see what you're asking, I think.
Well, I don't think Love EVER intends for people to die. Love doesn't cause hate. Truth isn't responsible for error. Life has nothing to do with death. God (Good) has nothing to do with someone dying from cancer. Why should you bother praying? Well, it depends on what you mean by *prayer*, I guess. When I pray I'm simply trying to draw close to Love and Truth - and why would I stop doing that?

Posted on Sep 15, 2012 1:17:17 AM PDT
You must pray to god to show your devotion.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2012 5:16:51 AM PDT
Astrocat says:
Rai, why is it necessary to show devotion?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2012 6:51:15 AM PDT
Vicki says:
Dear DakillaKonKommeth,

You asked :"Why then, do I need to pray to God and ask for help when I need it? What is the purpose of asking God to help me through prayer if he already knows what I need and is already decided on whether he is going to help me or not?"

Prayer is a way to participate in our relationship with God and in His Kingdom work.

Why sit passively by, when we can join God- starting with prayer and going out from there?

If it is one thing that Jesus makes clear, it is that his followers are "to go", "to make", "to love your neighbor", "to forgive your enemies", etc.- in other words, be active, rather than passively sit by and watch God do all the work.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 17, 2012 5:49:10 AM PDT
"God (Good) has nothing to do with someone dying from cancer."

If God is the creator of all things, then he must be the creator of cancer as well. Cancer is a disease that is not the natural way for someone to die, even though dying from cancer may be referred to as dying of natural causes in an autopsy report.

Cancer is an event that takes place in someone's life that many times is out of a person's control, regardless of how much medical care they receive.

However, there are many cases in which people believe that prayer, not medicine, have saved them from certain death from diseases such as cancer...or many, many other situations. Many people have come to God because they prayed and were somehow miraculously healed.

Are you saying that these people are incorrect in assuming that God healed them, if he has nothing to do with cancer? If one person lives and another person dies of the same ailment, and both prayed to God throughout, are we safe in saying that God saved one person and denied the other? Is this all just part of God's plan, and praying for healing is really just a fruitless exercise that has no bearing on God's already determined decision?

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 6:11:34 AM PDT
When I used to go to church, there was a pastor that showed up to one of our men's meetings who described praying as the following.

PTA

Praise
Thank
Ask

Praying is simply conversation with God. You speak to God however you like, but you should follow (this pastor's) formula in doing so.

PTA

PRAISE God for whatever you'd like. And you should do so without using the word praise. When we tried doing the exercise of praising God without using the word praise, you'd be surprised how many people were there that were completely speechless and couldn't think of another word to use besides praise....or they kept skipping to the next part of this pastor's formula. It really made me think about who I was associating myself with at that moment.

THANK God for everything. Pretty self-explanatory. I used to like to kid around in our prayer sessions and thank God for all my stuff. After I did that two or three times, I was no longer asked to pray in church. (Seriously!) I guess God doesn't have much of a sense of humor.

ASK God for what you think you need. This part of praying is oftentimes the longest part of prayer, and is usually about healing people. I've also heard people pray for others to come to God, or for someone to find a job, or other stuff, but not nearly as often as healing is asked for. I've even asked God to help me win the lottery... many times. Needless to say, I'm still a middle-class working stiff that hasn't been able to retire early yet. Oh well, that must not be in the master plan. With my luck, I'll probably hit the Powerball for 500 million right before I croak. Then someone will say, "See??? Your prayers were finally answered."

Does anyone have anything they can add to that list about what you might do during a prayer session with God?
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  24
Total posts:  371
Initial post:  Sep 13, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 14, 2012

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